"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven "heads and ten horns, and upon his heads the "name of blasphemy. And the beast, which I saw, was like unto a leopard, and his feet were

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the "mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And "I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to "death; and his deadly wound was healed: and "all the world wondered after the beast. And

[ocr errors]

they worshipped the dragon, which gave great power unto the beast, saying, Who is like unto "the beast? who is able to make war with him? "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking

great things and blasphemies; and power was

* The Latin copies, the Alexandrian M.S., and the Syriac, read and he stood, meaning the dragon; and accordingly join the clause and he stood upon the sand of the sea to the preceding chapter (Pol. Synop. in loc.). I know not however why we should give up the common reading, which is that of all the Greek copies with the single exception of the Alexandrian followed by Aldus, and which agrees remarkably well with the context. Mr. Mede wishes to adopt it, because he thinks, that it confirms his interpretation of the preceding chapter, and shews that the rise of the ten-horned beast is posterior to the war of the dragon with the woman. This however it certainly cannot do, even if it be adopted; for, as I have already stated very sufficiently, the woman's sojourn in the wilderness of 1260 days plainly intimates, that the war of the dragon is the very same period as the 42 months tyranny of the beast; and consequently, that the war cannot in point of time precede the tyranny, as Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton suppose.

[blocks in formation]


"given unto him to practise* prosperously forty " and two months. And he opened his mouth "in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his 66 name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell "in heaven. And it was given unto him to "make war with the saints, and to overcome "them and power was given him over all kin"dreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that "dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose હર names are not written in the book of life of the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. "If any man have an ear, let him hear. He, that "leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity: "he, that killeth with the sword, must be killed "with the sword. Here is the patience and the "faith of the saints."

In the preceding chapter, the dragon is represented as persecuting the woman with his seven heads and ten horns: here we have the symbol of a beast, which has likewise seven heads and ten horns. Now, since the dragon is declared to be the

*See Bp. Newton in loc. The word monoi does not so much describe his existence, as his prosperity. At the close of the 42 months the judgments of God will begin to go forth. against him and he is then considered, if I may use the expression, as dead in law, although some time will elapse before he is finally slain. There is reason to believe from Daniel, that this time, which he styles the time of the end, which is the period of God's great controversy with the nations, and which synchronizes with the last vial, will occupy a space of at least 30 years (See Dan. xii. 11, 12.). Indeed the whole time of the end seems to occupy a space of 75 years.

devil, the heads and horns, which he is described as using against the woman, must be the heads and horns of some power subservient to his views. This power is now brought upon the stage.

[ocr errors]

According to Mr. Kett, "the first beast of the "Revelation, and the little horn of Daniel, are generally allowed to mean the same power, what"ever that power may be*:" and he afterwards asserts, that this ten-horned beast is the Papacy†, or, as he terms it, the papal Antichrist.

Nearly the same opinion is maintained by Mr. Galloway. He does not indeed allow, that the first beast of the Revelation is the same as the little horn of Daniel's fourth beast, for he asserts that that little horn is the revolutionary power of France§: but he has written a whole dissertation for the express purpose of shewing, that the ten-horned apocalyptic beast is the Papacy ||.

Bp. Newton, with much more propriety than either of these two authors, observes, that " no "doubt is to be made, that this beast was designed

* Hist. the Interp. Vol. i. p. 385.

+ Yet he elsewhere teaches us, that the little horn is the same as the second apocalyptic beast, which he conceives to be French Infidelity [Ibid. p. 347.]. I have cited the whole passage, where this assertion is made, at the beginning of the 4th chapter of the present work.

Ibid. p. 392-and Vol. ii. p. 1–66.

§ This point has already been fully discussed in the 4th chapter of the present work.

Prophetic Hist. of the Church of Rome.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

"to represent the Roman empire; for thus far "both ancients and moderns, papists and protes "tants, are agreed*." Had his Lordship steadily adhered to this simple, and indeed undeniable, proposition, I should have been able to sanction my own views of the subject with the authority of one of our ablest commentators upon prophecy but, quitting the assertion with which he originally set out, he soon entirely diverts the attention of his reader from the great secular Roman beast (as the Bishop himself styles it) to that spiritual power which Daniel symbolizes by the little horn of the beast. He commences his discussion with saying very truly, that the beast is the Roman empire; and this beast he afterwards pronounces no less truly to be a secular beast: yet, in the course of a very few pages, he informs us, that the beast is evidently the little horn, which he had already proved with irrefragable arguments to be the Papacy. Now the beast is said by St. John to be the same as his own last head: hence the Bishop, having pronounced the beast

*Dissert. on Rev. xiii.

Ibid. Mr. Mede, in a similar manner, although his opinion be the same as that of the Bishop, espesially styles the first apocalyptic beast the secular beast, and the second the ecclesiastical beast. See his Comment. Apoc. in loc.

* "The beast, that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, "and is of the seven" (Rev. xvii. 11.). Some suppose that this is spoken by way of synecdoche; but I know not what right we have to tamper with the plain declaration of the



beast to be the little horn or the Papacy, of course pronounces the Papacy to be the last head likewise that is to say, he makes a spiritual power to be the last head of the beast and consequently the whole beast, notwithstanding he had declared that this very beast is a secular empire.

Respecting this opinion it may be observed, that, if the beast be a secular empire, it is impossible that his last head, which is identified with himself, should be a spiritual power; because, if that were the case, the beast would no longer be a secular empire, but a spiritual one. Popery indeed, like Mohammedism, is symbolized, merely as an ecclesiastical kingdom, by a horn originally small and afterwards becoming so powerful as to have a look more stout than its fellows, and as to influence the actions of the whole beast; nor is there any inconsistency in representing symbolically what has really happened, namely the rise


Apostle (See Pol. Synop. in loc.). I consider it as a very leading part of the prophecy, and as being studiously introduced to prevent any possibility of mistake respecting the power intended by the last head. The temporal dominion of all the six first heads, springing up as they respectively did before the division of the Empire, extended over the whole of the Empire: and we are here assured by St. John, that the temporal dominion of the last head, notwithstanding the division of the Empire into the ten horns, shall extend over the whole of the Empire likewise. Would we then discover the last head, we must seek for a power whose dominions have been commensurate with the whole Western Empire: for this last head, whatever it may be, is, like its six predecessors, to be the whole beast.

« ElőzőTovább »